# Madison Ave is next hiring ground for aspiring quants

#### Andy Nguyen

If you are a long time member on Quantnet, you would notice that some of our members have moved to advertising companies from finance industry.

IlyaKEightSix mentioned that he interviewed with ads exchange as well. Today the NYT runs an article that sums up the situation very nicely. If you are mathematical inclined, you should look out for opportunities outside of finance where your technical skills are valued.

#### John

Data processing, data mining, data analysis. If you are good in SQL and statistical package such as R or SAS, you got great chance in landing a job in this field according to the article.​

Any quant who manages to move from a bank to Madison Avenue is the luckiest guy on earth. It is like moving from hell to paradise.

#### Andy Nguyen

Data processing, data mining, data analysis. If you are good in SQL and statistical package such as R or SAS, you got great chance in landing a job in this field according to the article.
And according to an MD, you will get a job in his bank with SQL as well. http://www.quantnet.com/forum/threads/learn-sql.7554/
The way things are going, data skills are going to be needed in a lot of fields and SQL is one of the things that majority of MFE graduates don't have.

#### Lyosha

##### Psychic in Training
Any quant who manages to move from a bank to Madison Avenue is the luckiest guy on earth. It is like moving from hell to paradise.
Can you elaborate?

Take a look around you in your quant job and see who your co-workers are, with whom you have to spend 12 hours every day.
Then trot over to Madison Avenue for lunch and see what wonderful restaurants and coffee shops they have on Madison Avenue.

#### Joy Pathak

##### Swaptionz
Take a look around you in your quant job and see who your co-workers are, with whom you have to spend 12 hours every day.
Then trot over to Madison Avenue for lunch and see what wonderful restaurants and coffee shops they have on Madison Avenue.

LoL I would not leave my job for madison ave.

#### Andy Nguyen

Take a look around you in your quant job and see who your co-workers are, with whom you have to spend 12 hours every day.
Then trot over to Madison Avenue for lunch and see what wonderful restaurants and coffee shops they have on Madison Avenue.
Madison Ave is just synonym for advertising industry, just like Wall Street is for finance. Just because you work in advertising industry does not mean you will have lunch everyday with executives in fancy restaurants. If you are good, you would have done lunch with CEO of banks in any of the fancy restaurants in the financial district.
If you spend 12 hours of your work day on pricing models, you will now spend 12 hours of your work day on ads matching models. It's not hell or paradise like you make it to be.

#### Sanket Patel

##### i do stuff
Just because you work in advertising industry does not mean you will have lunch everyday with executives in fancy restaurants

I could be wrong but I don't think that's exactly what TraderJoe was hinting at...

#### Mr Doe

Seriously Andy, you are too "business"* lately...TraderJoe was referring to hot females!

#### Yos Feit

Data processing, data mining, data analysis. If you are good in SQL and statistical package such as R or SAS, you got great chance in landing a job in this field according to the article.​
While SQL and data mining are heavily used by investment banks, I have not seen that experience was demanded from applicants. Many CS students graduate without having taken any database classes, and they were hired anyway. After one day of in-house SQL training they were ready to work. I have also seen English and Art history majors get hired into such data heavy j0bs. I strongly suspect that an MFE graduate would be underutilized and quickly bored in a job of this nature.

#### Andy Nguyen

I didn't know SQL when I first got my job and had to learn it the first day at work. Wish I knew it coming in.
That said, a good MFE program with a practical training should have students working on live data set which is HUGE and you can't get away without learning SQL as a result. You can't effectively query billions/hundred millions rows of financial data using Excel.

At the very least, any MFE student should have this in his toolbag. After all, you will work with financial data every single day.

#### IlyaKEightSix

Interview? Yes. Offers? No. IMO, whether it's finance, online advertising, etc. etc. etc., a work environment is only as good as the people around you. Personally, my Chicago work experience (namely my first several weeks) were absolutely terrific, as was the R/Finance conference (though I don't remember much of it explicitly). And I plan on going back in the near future once my mentor gets enough revenue up to hire me even for a measly salary so I can do/learn quantitative trading.

As for SQL...ehhhh...trying to learn it with Stanford's online databases course. It is a massive pain in the gluteus maximus though. Jennifer Widom has...well...to put it lightly...a lot to say.

By comparison, Andrew Ng's course is much easier. But maybe that's just because I have much more of the numbers end of engineering beaten into my cranium as opposed to the back-end technical database syntactical mumbo-jumbo >.>....

#### soliton

Ilya, as you already had interview in this business, maybe you can shed some light, what kind of practical knowledge that they want (as I would imagine, most people here would be more familiar with the practical knowledge in finance industry)? what technical knowledge needed?web programming (web server) proficiency?

I have an impression that this kind of job is more suitable for people with CS background and strong stats. I couldn't see how people with math background (let alone one with little exposure to stats) can fit in, but I could be wrong because I know very little about this industry

#### IlyaKEightSix

Honestly? From my interviews, the entire time I felt that if I had it my way, I'd go back to Chicago ASAP. IMO, online advertising to me feels like finance lite. You're still trying to predict the semi-rational but not-predictably-so behavior of human beings, in order to try to understand where they'll direct their money (or at least their temporary five-second attention) to next, trying to put a pattern to that, and if you predict well enough, you make enough money to be somewhat well off.

Sort of a case of same fun, different day, but in other industries besides trading, the smartest guy in the room probably has to spend half of his time either talking with clients who don't have a modicum of quantitative knowledge (hence the demand for math/science guys), or making presentations for them.

With trading, you don't have to deal with any of that. It's just you, your systems, your colleagues, and the markets. All of which are fascinating, in and of themselves, salary aside. I mean put it this way: even if I was offered a $40,000 trading position in Chicago, or an$85,000 position to work for some company that thought I was some sort of miracle worker because I knew some numbers, I'd take the trading position, because the work is just more fun.

Or at least so goes my opinion. Someone else just might find online advertising the most fascinating thing in the world because of something exclusive just to it, but I feel like any reason for a quant type like us to be employed in the advertising industry would be easily matched and then some by work more stimulating in the financial industry.

Of course, the big exception to the rule here is Google, which approaches how it does business from a very quantitative/analytical perspective, as opposed to "advertising experience" stuff.

#### amanda.jayne

IMO, online advertising to me feels like finance lite. You're still trying to predict the semi-rational but not-predictably-so behavior of human beings, in order to try to understand where they'll direct their money (or at least their temporary five-second attention) to next, trying to put a pattern to that, and if you predict well enough, you make enough money to be somewhat well off.

Funny. This sounds like every front office position I've come across....

Sort of a case of same fun, different day, but in other industries besides trading, the smartest guy in the room probably has to spend half of his time either talking with clients who don't have a modicum of quantitative knowledge (hence the demand for math/science guys), or making presentations for them.

Once upon a lifetime ago I worked in marketing finance alongside a little-known (but surprisingly large) quant team for one of the big three auto manufacturers. This most certainly was not the case.

There is a bucket ad agency for every bucket finance shop.

I would argue that the burden is on the applicant to separate the wheat from the chaff.

#### IlyaKEightSix

So far, most of the people who've talked to me haven't had many scientific people in the shop. And from personal experience, I really enjoy working with scientific people, because there's so much more to learn from them.

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